2 guitarists plus a Keyboardist?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bassist 4 life, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. Hey, is there anything wrong with having two guitarists and a keyboardist? Some people say it will get really noisy. Anyways, its because an awesome guitarist wants to join my band, but I dont want to replace the other guitarist... Can you name some bands with 2 guitarists and a keyboardist?

    Help Please :crying: :help:
  2. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    There's no right and wrong. Sure, you could have that many people as long as everyone understands that to survive as a band, everyone must support the band as a whole, rather than fighting eachother over the spotlight.

    On the other hand, it has potential to become disasterous if you have to play with three egotistical, spotlight-hogging soloists, rather than competent, mature musicians.

    I can't think of too many bands with two guitars and a keyboard, usually it's just two guitars, or one guitar and one keyboard. Now that I think about it, having that many instruments in that range might prove to be a tad bit tricky. I've never been too fond of keyboards in bands, but that's my opinion.
  3. Pearly Gator

    Pearly Gator

    Dec 10, 2005
    Two guitarists need to know how to play to compliment each other. A common error two guitarists make is to play the same chords in the same inversion. (It sounds bloody horrid.) One guitar on electric and one guitar on acoustic can sound fantasic together.

    Another important aspect is the keyboard player. Does the key guy/gal like to play low, overlapping the guitars or higher up and "out of the way"?

    It's all about blending, like with a choir of voices except you're dealing with instruments.

    Good luck! :)

  4. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    Jefferson Starship - 4 vocalists, 2 guitars, piano, 2 bass/keyboard players, percussion (they dropped the piano eventually, but kept the keyboard/ 2 guitar thing going on)

    Marilyn Manson has been known to use 2 guitars and a keyboardist.

    In contrast, Christian rock band Newsboys has done the same when their lead singer picks up a guitar and plays rhythm.

    The Rolling Stones did it occasionally.

    Guns N' Roses does it.

    You're not alone. I was in a band that tried to do it, but it's hard to do.

    Essentially, you want to place your rhythm guitar first. Then make sure that your lead guitar is playing something different, like a counter line or an interesting inversion of the chord, or something that won't turn both guitar parts into mush. Then your keyboardist needs to find a place to sit. Probably, holding chords on an organ stop isn't going to cut it here. Maybe some exciting syth work over the top of the whole thing? Maybe some intricate piano work?

    If nothing else, +1 on the acoustic guitar idea. I was in a fairly mundane punk rock group that came together out of some jam sessions, and we had three guitarists. One guy only had an acoustic, so that's what we used. I played rhythm electric, and the lead player just sort of held back and played single line stuff when appropriate. We quickly were coined an "acoustic punk" group, and that fact alone got us a lot of popularity rather quickly, as far as a college band goes...

    I found myself in another group a few years later that was sporting 3 guitarists, and I took the opportunity to lay my axe down and just sing.

    Good luck. Like the earlier poster said, it's just more voices to place in the whole picture. When you're singing backup and you're the only one, you can sing pretty well whatever harmonies you want. Add one more vocalist, and some planning is required. Add another, and you almost have to start specifically arranging parts for people to sing. You may be at that point right now. It may take a little more time, but it should be worth it.
  5. My band...well we tried

    Recently the keyboard player switched to drums (coz our drummers doing other things at the moment) and without his grand piano playing boogie-woogie behind 20th century boy and Shakin' all over we sound a HELLUVA lot better!

    We did have a period when he walked out on us, and WITHOUT the keyboard (or just the boogie-woogie...?) we sounded like a band and not just 5 musicians playing slightly similar-sounding stuff!

    anyone see a pattern emerging...?? - All the guy can play is Boogie-Woogie and the Turkish Rhondo - and thats all hes ever played for the last 5 years+, and he can't improvise...but it just wouldn't be the same without him, I'm gonna try and find a GOOD band sometime soon...

    basically - vocals/lead guitar/rhythm guitar/piano/bass/drums...

    BAD MIX!
  6. fielden


    Oct 15, 2005
    relient k have 2 guitarists n their singer plays keys, its good to hav the option of a rhythm guitarist, a lead and then sum lead keyboard work in there
  7. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    We're currently halfheartedly searching for a fourth band member who can play a second guitar, keyboard, and sing.

    Tall order, I know, but that's why we're only looking halfheartedly.
  8. yeah - having 2 guitarists 1 of whom can occaisionally play keys - cool...

    having a 5-piece with 2 guitars AND keys in every song you do isn't...
  9. Lots and Lots of Melodic Metal and the sorts have that I'm pretty sure.
  10. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    Think of bands too that have record 2 or more guitar parts per song and have keys as well. The one that comes to my mind is Pink Floyd and everyone knows they pull it off very very well.
  11. Bands like Children of Bodom and Dimmu Borgir , Symbiosis and etc.... do it ( even though people may not like these bands but they do it.)
  12. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yeah: Very many funk/disco/soul/R&B acts have RECORDED two guitar tracks along with keys on their records (often two layers of keys too!)

  13. Ray-man

    Ray-man Guest

    Sep 10, 2005
    Kansas did it very well for a long time. In fact Kerry Livgren played both keys and guitar, so they usually had 2 keys and one guitar or 2 guitars and one keys all the time.

    Add 2 and 3 part harmonies on top of that plus violin, bass and drums = WALL OF SOUND. But they did it very tastefully in my opinion.
  14. Pearly Gator

    Pearly Gator

    Dec 10, 2005
    2 guitars + keys =

    Allman Brothers Band
    The Beatles
    BB King's band
    Doobie Brothers
  15. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    It depends on the musicians. My band has 2 guitarists and a keyboardist and we can never hear the keyboardist as the 2 guitarists are always loud, no matter what! In defense of the keyboardist, he has really crappy gear! He could benefit from a new rig!
  16. >Can you name some bands with 2 guitarists and a keyboardist?

    Spinal Tap! :D
  17. Nadav


    Nov 13, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    If you are into melodic death metal, Opeth does this beautifully. They've always had two guitarists. Check out Ghost Reveries (first album with a keyboardist as a full member, although they've been using him on tours).
  18. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    There's nothing at all wrong with the lineup you've described. The key things are:

    1) The musicians LISTEN to each other, otherwise, haveing 3 solo-cazy wankers going at the same time would be a disaster of epic proportions.

    2) Definitely agree about the guitars playing the exact same inversions and parts as each other, LAME!! Don't be lazy, CREATE!!!

    3) Another important aspect is to have the keyboardist and guitarists RESPECT each other's sonic space. My one pet peeve is when keyboarders INSIST on playing bass lines when there's a bassist there already (AAAARRRRRRRGH!). I actually remember one night at a jam having to give a keyboardist a little talking to offstage. he listened and apologized and promptly worked on conquering his bad habit.

    4) The guitars and keys need to really work together at being acutely aware of each others tonal pallette and how certain sounds, harmonies and tones interact or clash.
  19. Yeah maybe...but how often? - as far as I know they only really did "Get Back" and "Don't Let Me Down" with keys AND 2 guitars going simultaniously...not EVERYTHING they played